by Vero Bielinski

Uncertainty. Fear. Concern for loved ones. Lonliness.
The corona pandemic has held us and people around the world in an iron grip for a year. The uncertainty as to when it will almost be normal again drives us into a continuous tug-of-war of feelings.

The lockdown has two sides, like a coin. Positive and negative, up and down. Each of us knows both sides and has experienced them over the past year. My lockdown portraits show these roller coaster rides of emotions. Mastering and persevering in the challenges of the pandemic is an enormous effort for body and soul. The portraits are colorful and full of hope – and at the same time blurry and depressed. Every viewer can decide for himself whether the portraits are different people who represent the different sides of the lockdown with their individual perspectives, or whether it is always one and the same person who is an interplay of good and bad days and whose different moods were captured in the pictures. The portraits bring out the diverse streams of thought. A nebulous, virus-like veil hovers over every face. The inside evolves to the outside.

For me personally, the Lockdown Portraits project was a new experience. As an artist, I feel the effects of the pandemic and the associated restrictions particularly – not only in financial terms, but above all in terms of my creativity. The lockdown forced me to change the way I worked as an artist. My work usually consists of being close to people – I put this focus in my work early on and it also distinguishes my photographs. The lockdown has changed a lot for me. During this difficult time I shared my feelings, worries and hopes with various people. Through the many conversations and perspectives, I realized that the lockdown has many facets and was thus inspired for the project.

The idea: to create corona-compliant portraits which hit the nerve of the time. I found a creative solution for this and took photos of photographs from my existing portfolio in front of a self-made solution of water, oil and paints. This acts like a “live” filter on the portraits, which I change constantly while taking the photos. On a closer look, the results of this technology produce a similarity to microscope images of viruses or bacteria and thus create an additional bridge to the corona pandemic. Some pictures are also reminiscent of underwater images, which I associate symbolically with the information flood or the feeling of drowning.